All Posts By Samantha Seneviratne

Samantha Seneviratne Samantha Seneviratne is a New York-based writer, recipe developer and food stylist. She is the author of The New Sugar and Spice (Ten Speed Press), a baking cookbook combining family stories and food history with recipes that reimagine dessert as a more balanced mix of sugar and spice. Her second book, Gluten Free for Good (Clarkson Potter), comes out August 2016. She blogs about dessert at Love, Cake.

Pear and Gruyère Hand Pies — Bake-Ahead Batches

by in Recipes, March 30th, 2016

Pear and Gruyère Hand PiesPuff pastry is a delicious dough with a delightful name. Its French name, pâte feuilletée, is even more evocative. The word feuilles means “leaves,” which is what the baked dough resembles — a buttery tower of flaky pastry leaves.

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Raspberry Chocolate Bread Pudding — Bake-Ahead Batches

by in Recipes, March 22nd, 2016

Raspberry Chocolate Bread PuddingMost people associate dessert with special occasions. But I’m a dessert-every-day kind of girl. And in my book, the best sweet treats are the ones that don’t require extra shopping. When you can whip up something special with ingredients that are already in your kitchen, the results taste even sweeter.

If fried rice is the savory king of leftovers, bread pudding is the dessert queen. The ends of a loaf never go quite as fast as the first few slices — enthusiasm for the stale bread waning as the days go on. I keep the last bits of a sad loaf of old bread in my freezer, right next to the overripe bananas, so that one day I might have just enough for a bread pudding.

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Orange Poppy Bundt Cake — Bake-Ahead Batches

by in Recipes, March 18th, 2016

Orange Poppy Bundt CakeA Bundt is the perfect cake to make when you want a beautiful showstopper without the fuss of frosting, layers or intricate decorations. It emerges from its namesake pan looking golden and gorgeous every time; a simple glaze makes the cake even more mouthwatering. But the key to a perfect Bundt is to make sure its interior is just as wonderful as the outside. With so little adornment, there are fewer ways to hide mistakes. Turns out, the secret to a light-textured, moist and flavorful cake is all in the mixing technique.

Well, to be specific, it’s all in the way you cream the butter and sugar. Sure, sweet butter, tangy buttermilk, fragrant orange zest and plenty of poppy seeds add deep flavor, but proper technique is the key to a fine, tender crumb.

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Lemon Cheesecake Tart — Bake-Ahead Batches

by in Recipes, March 11th, 2016

Lemon Cheesecake TartEating in season makes a lot of sense. Vegetables and fruits taste the best and are most nutritious and affordable when you enjoy them during the season in which they are grown and harvested. During winter and early spring, when it comes to savory preparations like dinner, the choices are clear: Root vegetables, onions and garlic are plentiful in the colder months. Stew, anyone? But while the air is cold and the days are short, what should we do about dessert?

Citrus is the delicious answer. In the winter months, when fresh berries and peaches are all but a distant memory, turn your attention to lemons, limes and oranges to make your desserts shine, as they do in this bright cheesecake tart.

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Buttery Herbed Dinner Rolls — Bake-Ahead Batches

by in Recipes, March 4th, 2016

Buttery Herbed Dinner RollsIt may sound funny, but yeasted dough takes my breath away. It always has. When I see it I want to touch it. I want smell it. About 30 years ago, I was watching a bakery segment on Sesame Street when a glimpse of hundreds of puffy round loaves rising on speed racks touched my heart. Even though I was just a kid, I can remember the moment clearly, along with the feelings of amazement and intrigue that washed over me. At that instant, I heard my calling. I saw that dough and I knew that we were meant to be together.

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Gingerbread Bran Muffins — Bake-Ahead Batches

by in Recipes, February 25th, 2016

Gingerbread Bran MuffinsBran muffin = healthy, right? But what makes a muffin a bran muffin? The bran, of course. But what exactly is bran — and why is it so good for you? Read more

Apple-Cinnamon Blondies — Bake-Ahead Batches

by in Recipes, February 17th, 2016

Apple-Cinnamon BlondiesHave you got a last-minute dessert emergency on your hands? Did you forget about the bake sale? Or maybe some friends stopped by unexpectedly. Consider this blondie your sweet life vest.

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Pistachio-Orange Shortbread — Bake-Ahead Batches

by in Recipes, February 12th, 2016

Pistachio-Orange ShortbreadWe’ve all heard of shortbread, but what exactly does it mean when we say a pastry is “short”? The terms “short crust,” “shortbread” and even “shortening” all refer to the texture of the crumb of the pastry. Short pastry is usually dense, crumbly, crisp and buttery, and these flavorful bars, studded with orange zest and nuts — and drizzled with chocolate — are no exception.

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Homemade Oatmeal Cream Pies — Bake-Ahead Batches

by in Recipes, February 2nd, 2016

Oatmeal Cream PiesWhen I was little my neighborhood block was my universe. My best friend lived next door. We played kickball on the street in front of the house and explored the woods behind; our driveway was the best racecourse that any daredevil biker could hope for.

My dear friend Doris also lived on my block. She probably had a good 50 years on me, but that didn’t stop us from becoming close. She was kind and extremely gracious, considering that I would drop in on her without notice whenever it pleased me. My own grandmother lived 8,000 miles away, but Doris was nearby and I was grateful for her company. We’d play checkers and drink lemonade for hours. I loved our chats, and I loved her smile.

But that wasn’t all. Doris had the best snacks around — Little Debbie everything! She had crispy and crackly Star Crunch, dense and fudgy brownies, and my personal favorite, plenty of Oatmeal Creme Pies. Even today when I see those boxes in the supermarket, I’m immediately whisked back to the time when I’d sit on Doris’ fuzzy, teal couch in front of the glass coffee table considering my next checkers move with a mouthful of sugar.

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Chocolate-Peanut Butter Whoopie Pies — Bake-Ahead Batches

by in Recipes, January 28th, 2016

Whoopie PiesWhen I first started making cookies, I always baked them one tray at a time in the center of the oven. It certainly drew the process out, but I had found that two trays baked at the same time never produced consistent results. Baking one sheet at a time was the only way to guarantee perfect treats. This all changed, however, when I got an oven with a convection setting — and it just happens to be ideal for baking these peanut butter whoopie pies. Read more

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